Vicarious Lyrics - Tool

Review The Song (74)

Eye on the the TV
'Cause tragedy thrills me
Whatever flavor it happens to be, like...
"Killed by the husband"
"Drowned by the ocean"
"Shot by his own son"
"She used a poison in his tea, and kissed him goodbye"
That's my kind of story
It's no fun 'til someone dies

Don't look at me like I am a monster
Frown out your one face, but with the other
Stare like a junkie into the TV
Stare like a zombie
While the mother holds her child, watches him die
Hands to the sky crying, "Why, oh why?"

Cause I need to watch things die...from a distance
Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
You all need it too, don't lie

Why can't we just admit it?
Why can't we just admit it?
We won't give pause until the blood is flowing
Neither the brave nor bold
Will write as the story's told
We won't give pause until the blood is flowing

I need to watch things die...from a good safe distance
Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
You all feel the same, so...

Why can't we just admit it?

Blood like rain come down
Drum on grave and ground

Part vampire
Part warrior
Carnivore and Voyeur
Stare at the transmitter
Sing to the death rattle

La, la, la, la, la, la-la-lie (x4)

***Credulous at best your desire to believe in
Angels in the hearts of men
Pull your head on out your hippie haze and give a listen
Shouldn't have to say it all again
The universe is hostile, so impersonal
Devour to survive... so it is, so it's always been

We all feed on tragedy
It's like blood to a vampire

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
Much better you than I

Length : 7:06
Genre : Progressive metal
Format : Compact Disc, vinyl
Tool Dissectional (U.S.)
Writer(s) : Tool
Certification : 2× Platinum (RIAA)
Released : April 17, 2006, December 18, 2007 (CD and DVD)
Label : Volcano II
Recorded : August–December 2005
Producer : Tool

"Vicarious" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song is the first single released from their fourth full-length studio album 10,000 Days. Debuting on April 17, 2006 on commercial radio, the seven-minute song entered the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart at #2. It received a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. From Wikipedia

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Meaning | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/6/13

I believe the meaning of this song is how other people feed on each others misfortune, and tragedies. Society as a whole gives attention to the violence, and negativity in the world. I think Tool is trying to attribute us to zombies. All we do is blankly stare at televisions and computer screens for hours of the day.

We're vicarious voyeurs.

"And I need to watch things die... from a safe distance."

This quote is a primary example of how they feel we love watching things die, but at no harm to us.

Humans are instinctively violent.

AMAZING | Reviewer: Nathan D | 6/5/13

this song is amazing!! if you dont know what this song means than you sir are a ignoramus.. its about how the media place violence and deaths on their news because us as a viewer would rather see something like a guy getting shot than a story about politics.. and its so true but we will not admit the truth :)

astounding music | Reviewer: dead by ped's birth | 5/9/13

there are very few songs that are done perfectly and this is one of them..... perfect music and perfect lyrics. hats off to tool for coming up with it. to people who'd like to criticize it, well you're entitled to your own opinions but please, keep them to yourselves. you only make yourselves sound like imbeciles. peace.

a work of art | Reviewer: link | 2/23/13

well krystall method is correct but a little harsh, i have a hard time believing that someone can be so idiotic as to say that TOOL OF ALL BANDS has no meaning. Im deeply sorry for you pseudo-meaning you are just wrong nothing more.

KrystalMethod | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/20/12

For those trying to relate tool to pseudo-intellectuals or pseudo anything for that matter, I will just say that you personify ignorance. Especially for a song as straight forward as Vicarious. You clearly can't interpret the simplist of messages and do not have any business listening to Tool or any music for that matter. The song clearly speaks of our uncontrolled but almost instinctive attraction to other people's tragedies only to deny this strange infatuation when confronted. I'm sure as I have, you can all relate.

By the way, to the idiot a few comments below, you misspelled "waste". The least you could do when criticizing a good band, is NOT be illiterate.

just my opinion | Reviewer: Argon | 5/13/12

i don't know how anyone can say this song doesn't have meaning. it so obviously about the media more importantly news stations and how they show so much death and tragedy because for some reason that's what people want to watch. journalists are told to target those stories,especially in america where they are told to cover a shooting over any other news story opportunity, because that is what will make people watch the news, we like watching tradegy, but no-one will admit it

To all the haters here | Reviewer: Stinkfist | 3/13/12

To the putz who is trying to align Maynard and Tool with the term psuedo, you frankly have no clue what you're babbling about. There is meaning in art, if you are too much of a half wit to descern the meaning of the song than too bad for you. Thye songs can mean many things to many diffferent people, including the artists making the music. See the way I see it is the music is far superior to your feeble mental capacity and you cannot in interpret the depth they bring. just use the K.I.S.S. method and just listen like you said, because you certainly cannot HEAR Tool...

pseudo-meaning | Reviewer: Pigeon | 11/30/11

any of you guys know the word pseudo?
If you do, you'll understand all their songs. Their songs are written to seem to have a meaning, but they don't actually have one. One is about Weed, the other about anal-fisting. Now this song in particular is just about watching a favorite tv-show. To actually look for a meaning within these song is to waist your time. Btw, they sound so much better when you just listen.

In actuality, can we define these songs? | Reviewer: Katsu Aoki | 11/12/11

Tool has some songs with meanings so ambiguous that I doubt anyone can actually understand what they mean.
There is a different meaning that pops into my mind whenever my iPod blesses me with the potential to listen to this song.

A current interpretation?
It's all about watching the world die from a safe place and learning from the mistakes of those who die. That it's human nature to embrace death, but morality disallows us to accept this nature and thus we must hide ourselves behind a mask of disgust.
But the lyrics: "Credulous at best your desire to believe in angels in the hearts of men."
They stick in my mind the most. How we should not believe that humans are angels and instead see them as devils. Human decency is a mask worn by evil.

A very dark song, but a very wonderful one. Lateralus is probably the best of their songs, however, and is worth a listen if you haven't already.

if you love this song you should check out my video about this song | Reviewer: Daniel | 10/23/11

First of all, i think this song is one of the best songs ever. It contains so much naked truth.

The words chosen and the perfect use of the music in this song fits all together.

Not many people around the world will admit the message of this song. and there for the text :"Why cant we just admit it" goes trough my bones together with the last statement he makes. "The universal is hostile, so impersonal, or impossible"

Let me know what you think about the video. I have made it and added some background about what may are the reasons for the dark nature of this song.

It's much simpler... | Reviewer: Martin | 6/4/11

I've been looking over a lot of these reviews and I'm impressed at how many different interpretations there are. In my eyes (well, ears as it were) this song is very simple which is why I find it so beautiful. I don't hear it as being about the media or how horrible we are to one and other. To me, it's a song about just how natural it is for us to be drawn to death and "evil". Two reasons:

1: Death is the only part of life that is 100% certain. We don't know when it's coming, we don't know how it's coming and we don't even actually know WHY it's coming. We just know that it is. Ask any parent that's ever had to explain to a child why grandpa's dead and what death is. It's not easy to explain in an understandable way. "Grandpa's sleeping for a long time.", "Grandpa just ran out of life." and so on. It's never really explained what happens and certainly not why. Well, the medical "why" we've pretty much got down so far, but the philosophical "why do people have to die" still eludes us. Is it so strange that it facinates us?

2: We all have different images of the world in our heads that we construct through the relations we have in life. The definition of good and evil isn't inate. It's learned. Different cultures have different ways of looking at it and even within those cultures, each human being has his or her own understanding of it. They may be very similar but never exactly the same. That's why we need to see things for our selves. It's not enough that others tell us about good and evil and death. We need to experience in order to better understand it and to better understand our selves. We constantly compare our selves to others, so in order to find out if I am good or evil, I need to understand what those things mean to me. That's why I need to see others be both things. To define myself.

The winning line in the song that convinced me of this meaning, is this:
"The universe is hostile, so impersonal. Devour to survive. So it is. So it's always been."

We might look at death and destruction on TV now and some people might find that offensive and wrong, but as long as humans have been gathering in larger parties, death has been entertainment to us. The greeks held death games, the romans had the Colliseum and since forever and a day, public hangings and beheadings have been concidered entertainment. It's nothing new. So it is. So it's always been.

Thanks for reading :)

just beautiful | Reviewer: Lithium | 6/2/11

The appreciation I find in Tool music is in it's honesty even more so than the sick drumming and amazing vocals. We all need to be confronted with some truths every now and again about who we are, both as spiritual beings and as carnivores.
I recommend watching the video clip on youtube, I'm talking the HD one. You will need 3D glasses ;)
This is my fav Tool song. The climax is orgasmic!

Vicarious | Reviewer: Bryan | 5/11/11

I think this song is pretty simple. Its a criticism of how screwed up our society is, how the media will use anything for ratings, even terrible tragedy, children dying, etc. He admits it to himself that he is entertained by it, and wants to wake people up from their zombie like addiction to television. He is criticizing our culture for being so shallow and disconnected, people dont actually realize or feel what is happening, they just watch and find some sort of satisfaction by it. But he includes himself in the group being criticized, being aware of his own self being caught up. One of my favorite songs.

Kaos is fine! it gives space to knew things!!!! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/9/11

I think that something was missing in my understanding of the song! I don't know Tools intention, thou it seams quite clear....
I wasn't thinking about the song at all, but suddenly something came up!
Yes we are all thrilled by death not because of the media ( but too)... because it is something purely certain. BUT... Should it be consider something wrong? In past times, it used to give us strenght (because "we survived"), it made us cautious...
Hum... maybe the media is just turning off this natural meaning making human kind more and more pussy! So that the natural selection can be more and more controled by man... there is no natural selection by now!
ok i'm drifting now.
Just wanna thank TOOl for such a great background music that impulses my mind... i might be wrong... but hey, nothing is for sure....
But death! da da daaa

morbid curiosity | Reviewer: Rackels | 4/16/11

The song's just about morbid curiosity. Everyone slows down while passing the awful car wreck hoping to catch a glimpse of the carnage, though not everyone admits that they want to see the horror. Why else would movies like SAW be so popular (other than the ethical controversies applied to psychological therapy). Everyone is somehow drawn to the carnage that ravages man, whether it be another man or nature. Maynard's is just arguing through the lyrics for the rest of the world to stop hiding the fact that they too slow down to view the horrid car accidents and whatnot.

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------ 11/24/2014

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